Approved Conservation Commission Mtg Mins

Meeting date: 
Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Wellfleet Conservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

February 19, 2020

Town Hall Meeting Room

Attendees:  Deborah Freeman, Michael Fisher, John Cumbler, Leon Shreves, Trudy Vermehren, Assistant Agent Doug Guey-Lee and Christine Bates, Committee Secretary 

Regrets:  John Portnoy and Barbara Brennessel

4:00 - Business Meeting & Conservation Agent's Report

Mail / Discussion

DLTA:  Further discussion of the final proposed language will take place in April.  John Cumbler suggested there be a “work session”, then review all of the parties input.  Deborah Freeman stated Agent Greenberg-Lemos will hire a consultant to review all the final draft paperwork along with other existing applicable bylaws to ensure that nothing is missed.    

Michael Fisher stated there are degraded fiberfill rolls located at the end of Lt. Island Road and he displayed pictures of the rolls for the Commission to review.  Doug Guey-Lee will make a site visit and review applicable previous Order(s) of Conditions.       

Wastewater letter to Select Board:  John Cumbler stated he would like to have Barbara Brennessel and / or John Portnoy present at the meeting to contribute to discussion.  This item will be placed on the March agenda.   

Jurisdictional Opinions

165 Commercial Street, removal of 1 maple at back of property which is posing a hazard to an outer building.  Michael Fisher moved to approve the Jurisdictional Opinion; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.

Wellfleeter Condo’s, 275 Kendrick Ave, remove 2 dead black locust trees located close to the road.  The trees’ root balls are in the air.   John Strout of Cape Associates stated a landscaper will be responsible for the removal of the trunks and a mass of bittersweet and he will have the landscaper contact the Agent’s office when the work is to be done.  John Cumbler moved to approve the Jurisdictional Opinion; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

715 Chequessett Neck Road, pruning 23 pitch pines, Doug Guey-Lee stated this is a grove which is why the number of pines is high.  The grove is composed of small trees and the dead wood is located on the lower branches from natural die off.  The middle third of the trees could have dead wood in it.  Ken MacPhee of Bartlett Landscaping identified the location of the trees from an assessor’s map.  This does not affect any view because only one tree is close to the resources and most of the trees are located closer to the road.  John McPhee is to call the Agent when work is to be performed.  John Cumbler moved to approve the Jurisdictional Opinion; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.

Meeting Minutes:  Michael Fisher moved to approve the amended February 5, 2020 meeting minutes; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

John Cumbler moved to close the business meeting at 4:40 pm; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

Trudy Vermehren moved to open the public hearings at 5:08; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.


SLA Nominee, 1005 Chequessett Rd., Map 19, Parcel 94, NOI, Proposed replacement of an existing coastal engineering structure (Cont’d)  The meeting is scheduled for March, 2020.

Jeremy Young, 140 Commercial St., Map 21, Parcel 86, NOI, Install new driveway off Holbrook Ave, remove 3 trees, and demolish existing “lodge” building.  Jeremy Young and David Lajoie came to the table and stated the proposed new driveway has been eliminated from the application.  Mr. Young stated he has received approval from the Historical Committee with regards to demolishing the building.  The “lodge” building was built in 1915.  There is no plan for additional dwellings to be built.  Since there are changes to the original application, David Lajoie will provide the new information for the file.  Debris will be removed from the property through Commercial Street.  Deborah Freeman stated she appreciated that the driveway will be eliminated from the proposal and will make the abutters happy.  Trudy Vermehren thanked Mr. Young as well.   Michael Fisher moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.

Kane, 30 Higgins Lane, Map 15, Parcel 119, NOI, repair breach in earthen dike.  Peter Kane represented Helen Purcell and stated there have been several bad storms and the water deposited by them or through high tides has burst through the earthen dike.  Repair has been performed on the earthen dike in the past when the water had previously broken through with high tides at least in 1996 and about 25 years before that.  Deborah Freeman stated the Commission needs to hear from Mosquito Control and Mr. Kane stated he was in contact with them and that Gabrielle Sakolsky had made a site visit.  Doug Guey-Lee stated Agent Greenberg-Lemos was waiting to hear directly from Ms. Sakolsky of the Mosquito Control.  Deborah Freeman noted that someone has thrown cement blocks, bricks, and a section of cement filled pipe near the area and it needs to be removed.  She also questioned if this is the best way to fix the water problem and wanted to know if there were alternative solutions to the water issues during storms and high tides.  Mr. Kane stated that the property owner’s family worries about the banking, and if the flooding continues, they are concerned about the future of the house.  The FEMA elevation is 13’ and a large portion of the property is well below that, with the shell driveway/road at 6’.  Sometimes the water is one foot deep on the driveway/road when there is a southwest storm.  John Cumbler questioned if by repairing the dike, it would last due to climate change and sea level rises.  Mr. Kane stated that they want to remedy the problem now and he realizes that this proposal is only a band aid and does not solve the problem.  John Cumbler recommended a culvert underneath the driveway, but feels in the short term, to take care of the issue now.  The road is now being inundated with water going over the dike several times each month.  Trudy Vermehren agreed that it needs to be fixed and stated it would be good in the long run to have a better fix in place for the future.  Trudy Vermehren moved to approve the project as presented, John Cumbler stated there is a section that is eroding and would like to see something planted for over time, Deborah Freeman stated she was concerned with the types of plants that would be successful when the whole area is so wet.  The conservation grass mix will not grow with the water issues at the site.   After Trudy’s motion to approve the project and discussion among the Commissioners, it was noted that MESA had not yet provided its review of the project.  Mr. Kane will contact MESA and come back to the Commission either on March 4 or March 15 for a continuation.  John Cumbler moved to continue to March 4, 2020; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

Cohn, 40 First Ave., Map 30, Parcel 124, NOI, install patio to the left of house with a low stone wall, add stone walkway to the right of the house, prune selected trees, and mitigate with plantings.  Charles Wentz of Ponderosa Landscaping represented the applicant.  He reviewed the proposed activity and stated Bartlett Tree Service will remove the debris from the property.  The spacing between the stone walkway did not identify the space between the stones.  Mr. Wentz stated the last 3 paragraphs should be eliminated from the application because it is for another client and not applicable to this project.  He also identified further areas of the narrative that needed correction.  Trudy Vermehren stated the landscape plan does not include all the information on it and Mr. Wentz reviewed the project for specific areas. John Cumbler stated the activities on this property continue to grow from plan to plan and over time, there has been a large continuing transformation of the property.  He has no problem with the pruning but feels there have been too many requests over several years.  Doug Guey-Lee will check the history of the property and determine the total area of disturbance and the number of NOI’s requested.  Trudy Vermehren stated there are no alternatives in the application and Mr. Wentz will provide a new analysis.  Trudy Vermehren moved to continue to March 4, 2020; seconded by John Cumbler; passed 5-0.    

VanCleave, 489 State Hwy, Map 42, Parcel 129, RDA, remove 13 trees (safety issues, poor health).  There was no representation at the public hearing.    Trudy Vermehren moved to continue to March 4, 2020; seconded by John Cumbler; passed 5-0.

John Cumbler moved to adjourn at 6:05 pm; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Bates, Committee Secretary

Materials provided:

Young:  revised site plan

Kane:  NOI and site plan

Cohn:  NOI, site plan and landscaping plan

VanCleave:  RDA and site plan